Well here's the front garden! When we moved here, the house was not painted, just bare stucco. And nothing but dirt and weeds in the front yard! It was (and still is unfortunately) a major fixer upper. After we had lived here about a year, I decided I just had to plant something in the front yard. I put down a soaker hose and planted some cosmos flower seeds around that. A neighbor was out for a walk and told me I was wasting my time. He said nothing would grow up here on the hill, all rock and clay. Well guess I proved him wrong!
But truly, it has been a rough go. I am just too stubborn to quit trying. We found that the stucco contractors had put all left over lime, cement, wood and debris in the front yard and covered it over with about 6-8 inches of dirt. To have it all dug out and hauled away would be just too much money so I decided to work with it. I did dig out a lot of hardened lime chunks, but the cement had solidified. Way too much to do by hand. After years of adding compost and organic materials, I am making progress.
This is from left to right street view, our driveway is to the left. This front section is beyond the buried debris and mostly clay dirt. Our peach tree is 3 springs old and I harvested about 200 peaches this year. The birds got 20-30 or so. I have several yellow lantana; they are very common and hardy here. I planted yarrow and it really seems to like it there and it's spreading. I love roses and they are doing well planted here.
I also love vincas, mostly grown as an annual, I let them go and they reseed. If they make it through the winter, and they usually do, I give them a trim in spring. I have a rosemary plant tucked in there with the vincas.
Moving over a frame, another rose, purple heart, and an artichoke. The artichoke is perennial and this is it's first spring. I harvested one choke and I'm letting the other 3 bloom, can't wait to see them!
This is a new bed expanded down from the established one so it still needs to fill in. I have always wanted to have a garden that just kind of did it's own thing, replanted it's self at will and where it wanted to grow. Less work for me right? This new bed is an experiment to see what can happen if I gently direct growing and see what happens. I already had volunteer red lettuce grow so I am off to a good start!
I have planted calendula, plantain, sage, poppies, cantaloupe, watermelon, horehound, soap wort and toothache plant. The last 3 where just for fun, funny names for the kids and to see if they will grow here. The cantaloupe died, the watermelon isn't growing, and the sage, poppies and plantain are puny. But it's a new bed, I didn't add any amendments, just dirt and some palo verde needles as mulch. I am confident it will continue to get better and better.
I have a mystery plant! When this bed was ready to plant, I went through my seeds and just planted all the old ones and then threw the envelopes away. I completely forgot what I planted in the space! It has leaves like parsley, and blooms like yarrow or queens lace. Even kinda like celery but it doesn't smell like celery. Any ideas? I'm leaning towards a different variety of yarrow. Oh and red cotton!
Here's the red cotton bloom, beautiful! I thought the kids would like to learn about how cotton grows, becomes thread and then cloth. I found this red variety at Baker seeds. I have no idea if the cotton will be white or pink or red but the plant is a nice color for sure.
This is mexican petunia, it blooms year around and grows and spreads like crazy with a little water. There was a lot of debris under this planting area, the petunias don't seem to mind a bit.
That bare patch in the bottom right is a new bed I'm working on. It's narrow, about 2 feet by 6 feet, and terraced up about 18 inches from the petunias. I have been putting plant clippings into it for a few years to fill it up and then covered it over with dirt. I hope to plant barbados cherries there soon.
On the end is a mexican bird of paradise. It gets about 5-6 feet tall, I cut it back every year.
And here is the problem bed, the area with all the yuck under it. It is 7 feet by 22 feet and has done pretty well; this last winter/spring I harvested broccoli and cabbages, cilantro and lots of calendula. The brussel sprouts grew but never produced. I planted celery for the first time and it's going to seed now. At the end I have a garlic and onion bed. I have let some onions go to seed and wondering if I could do the same with the garlic. Think I could have a perpetual onion and garlic bed? Hmmm....
This late spring I planted sunflowers and beans. They are struggling big time and I don't know how to help them. I did find out after I had planted that beans don't like brassica veggies so perhaps that's the problem. I shouldn't have planted them in the same bed that the cabbages and broccoli had just been harvested from. Papa is collecting wood (free pieces) to make raised beds here for me. Easier since I won't have to bend so low to work.
We have all kinds of pest that love to eat and dig in a garden, quail, rabbits, coyotes, stray dogs and cats, and all kinds of bugs. But I love love love my gardens! For me more is more, can you tell?
Hill House Homestead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Copyright © 2017 by Hill House Homestead ALL RIGHTS RESERVED